The pace of the esports revolution shows no sign of slowing – and at Thomas Lyte, we’re proud of the role that we’ve played in helping to grow some of the biggest and most widely-followed tournaments and events across the globe. Not least the League of Legends Summoner’s Cup – perhaps the most prestigious esports competition on the planet.
Throughout October, we’ve seen the battle to become the 2022 LoL World Champion unfold. The final itself will be played on 5 November, and although the trophy being competed for is no longer the pioneering edition of the one designed and made in our London workshop, the League of Legends title continues to provide an indication and reminder of just how far esports has come.
Reports this year suggest that the opening day of competition back in September attracted as many as 1.12 million peak viewers. The 2021 final, meanwhile, was watched by as many as four million worldwide. And those figures don’t include the Chinese market, which is where LoL enjoys perhaps its biggest following. The true figures could be far, far higher.
Those numbers are as humbling as the majesty of that original Summoner’s Cup, which Thomas Lyte produced hand-in-hand with Riot Games a decade ago.
The trophy is one that League of Legends’ huge and devoted hardcore body of fans still very much appreciate and adore. And who can blame them? It is, after all, one of the most iconic commissions in the company’s history. And, while we are sad to see it retired, we are so proud to see the growth of esports during the trophy’s decade of existence, and the impact that the trophy has had on so many.
It’s in Thomas Lyte’s DNA to disrupt the market, which means our values are very much aligned with those of esports – a movement which continues to accellerate in popularity with each passing year.
Arguably, the League of Legends World Championship is the ultimate symbol of that. And our trophy, which was presented for a final time in 2021, was the embodiment of that ambition for Riot Games back in 2012, when they introduced the trophy for season 2.
Expertly crafted in our workshop over 300 painstaking hours, the trophy is as striking as any in the world. Little wonder that holding it aloft is the dream of so many aspiring or established gamers. The brilliant flashes of blue, which are provided by optical lead crystal, contributed to its stunningly distinctive nature. For ten years it lit up finals day in front of legions of wide-eyed supporters in arenas and across the world watching on Twitch and YouTube.
The process of holding the original Summoner’s Cup aloft, though, was no easy task. After all, a heavyweight competition deserves a heavyweight trophy, doesn’t it? The Thomas Lyte crafted trophy tipped the scales at 32kgs when it was first made, a weight which made the one-person lift almost as difficult as winning the tournament! For a company that has produced many of the world’s most famous pieces of silverware in the past, it was one of the heaviest we’d ever produced. Using some clever engineering, our craftspeople reduced the weight by half, to 16kgs. But regardless of the trophy’s weightloss, it took a whole team to lift it each year. In many ways making the act of lifting the summoner’s cup as memorable and as iconic as the trophy itself.
In the world of esports, the Thomas Lyte Summoner’s Cup remains one of the most widely recognised and admired trophies of a seminal decade. That, alongside the iconic LEC trophy, also made by Thomas Lyte in the same London silver workshops seven years later.
The Summoner’s Cup is one that we remain extraordinarily proud of. And we hope that the next 10 years is as exciting and memorable for both Riot Games and esports as the last.
We have selected a number of case studies that demonstrate the broad range of our capabilities designing and making in precious metals.